Known as the Billabong for the horse lover, giddyupgirl is the inspiration of Tammy Raine who came to realise the lack in funky fashion products available for horse crazy teens when her 13 year old was at Horse Training Camp. Concluding she could fix this problem by producing this niche market, Tammy did her research and started on the idea right away. The result is giddyupgirl.
Have you always been interested in horses and when did you start designing clothes for those who are often on or around a horse?
As a little girl I always wanted a horse but unfortunately my parents couldn’t afford one. I used to go to a riding school in Prospect near Sydney every weekend and ride my favourite chestnut mare Rusty.
When our daughter Cassie was about 10 years old she went horse riding with a friend one weekend and came back hooked! She begged and begged and finally we gave in and bought her a horse – Leisha a Chestnut Arab mare! She had the kindest nature and was the perfect Pony Club mount at 15.2H for our daughter.
At training camps and Pony Club social events I noticed that most of the girls were wearing surf and street brands and wondered if there was anything ‘funky’ that related to horses. After investigating I found that there was nothing around so I started with some t-shirt designs and the rest is history!
How much of your day/week is related to horses?
We recently sold our horse because Cassie is now in grade 11 and we just weren’t getting the time to see nor ride Leisha. Leisha was agisted 20 mins from our home and the owners of the property sold so we had to make some decisions. Due to the fact that we weren’t riding as much as we should we decided to sell her. It was the saddest day of our lives I think! Leisha is now at a happy home on the Gold Coast.
I now visit the horses at the place where our jodhpurs are made, they have some beautiful show ponies and at least once a week I go see them – I love them!!
In this field is it possible for someone to be a full time professional, earning a livable income?
Yes but it takes time, I have been doing it for almost 4 years now! I work 6-7 days a week and very long hours. There is a lot involved in clothing design – currently we are designing winter 09, planning for Equitana in November, organising an entire riding kit for a Japan riding college and setting up a distribution network overseas. It is constant!
What are the general steps taken to be able to design and sell clothing for a particular demographic?
Firstly you need to know your customer – as my customer is teenagers, it can be difficult! They change their style so quickly but having a teenage daughter that loves horses really helps. Once you are happy with your product you need to find representatives that can take your products to the stores to write orders. You also need to be on the cutting edge of fashion and trends in your field.
Any advice for those interested in pursuing designing clothes for those in the equestrian industry?
DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Realise that the industry is a niche and very small in Australia and when you are in a niche market you need the niche to be large to make it viable – that is why we are now perusing the overseas market.
Is there anything else with horses you’d love to learn about or try?
I have always wanted to try Show Jumping but it has been a long time since I have been in the saddle due to the fact that my closest near death experience was on a horse when I was 21! Now I am older I have lost my nerve â€“ but who knows, one day I may JUST GET OVER IT! One of my best selling tee slogans!!
Favourite horse memory?
Seeing our horse Leisha try to pick Cassie up with her head when she fell off at a Gymkhana. She was a beautiful horse!!!
To be the Roxy of the equestrian industry bringing young girls funky clothing they can wear in and outside of the horse arena! Also to distribute across the globe!
Best thing about your sport/profession?
Horses and fashion!!! Is there anything else!!
“I never play horseshoes ’cause Mother taught us not to throw our clothes around.” – Mr.Ed